Power BI Features You Shouldn’t Miss
At DesignMind, we’re excited about Power BI. Since 2012, we’ve lived through the Power BI evolution, from Sharepoint, to Excel, and now as Power BI Desktop and Service. From the beginning, we’ve helped clients become productive with Power BI, and we’re just getting started! There’s no doubt, the Power BI features just keep gettting better and better.
I just delivered an all-day Power BI Kick Start in July, and my team is fired up about bringing more training workshops like it to the West Coast, starting in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. You can see what’s on the calendar and sign up for Power BI workshops in the Bay Area here.
On the heels of that excitement, we wanted to share some of our favorite Power BI features. Here are the top four things we love about Power BI:
We love the ability to extend our data visualization reach within Power BI using R scripts. The Power BI team just released the preview on PowerBI.com. We recently put together our Partner Showcase which you can check out here. Pay attention to the custom map visual we use to map airline flight routes! And we’re just scratching the surface with what can be done with R.
This capability should exist in every dashboard tool, but it doesn’t. We also like what SQLBI did with their custom visual. In essence, end users are searching for answers. Sometimes they have long list of things to pick from in order to get the answers they want. The new search feature in slicers makes it easy, and combined with calculated columns in DAX, you can extend search to multiple fields if you wanted to.
Blend Data Sources all day long
Other vendors are just coming out with the capability to connect, join, and transform multiple data sources in one data model. The data modeling engine in Power Pivot and Power BI has had the ability to cross-join multiple data sources from day one. Numerous challenges have been addressed in connecting with different data sources including interpreting data types, schemas, and bi-directional relationships. Combine that with a powerful library of DAX functions such as RELATE(), LOOKUPVALUE(), and the good old CALCULATE(), analysts can interpolate, cross many-to-many relationships, and develop new statistics anywhere in their data model regardless of where it comes from.
Amazon Redshift connector (in preview)
The preview of this connector means Microsoft doesn’t care whose cloud services you are using, Power BI will work with anyone’s cloud. Amazon Redshift is a popular database platform among startups, having been known for its high performance and scalability. Couple that with Power BI, and you have a strong analytics platform that’s cost effective across tens or hundreds of users, all creating their own reports, dashboards, and analysis for day-to-day use.
Get Power BI Advice For Your Organization
Lean more on this blog or contact us if you’d like a 1:1 session with one of our consultants. We do customized trainings to suit your needs and work with your data! You can keep up with the latest Power BI news through the Microsoft Technical Community Groups. Each month we bring quality speakers to the Bay Area so that developers, analysts, managers, and executives can keep up to date on established and cutting edge technologies.
We’re passionate about what Power BI brings to the table. With each new monthly release of Power BI Desktop and the Service, we figure out new problems we can solve. Get in touch with us to envision what Power BI could bring to your organization.
Angel Abundez is VP, Business Intelligence at DesignMind. Our consultants are experts in BI, Big Data Analytics, Databases, and Cloud Solutions. Contact us in San Francisco to learn how you can harness your data.